Classic American Bully – Breed Overview

Thinking of getting an American Bully? There are several different variants, and in this article, we’ll focus on the Classic American Bully.

We’ll consider the differences between it and the Standard American Bully and whether the Classic has any advantages over its breed cousin.

Classic American Bully

But since there’s so much confusion about Pitbulls, American Bullies, and their many variants, let’s get a little background first. 

Are American Bullies Pitbulls? The broader definition of “Pitbull” includes any dog that’s descended from terriers and bulldogs – and that includes a lot of variants including the American Bully.

However, an American Bully is a very specific type of Pitbull that was bred from the American Pitbull, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and a variety of Bulldog-type breeds. 

Types Of American Bully

Types Of American Bully

American bullies were bred as companion animals, and various breeding programs have resulted in several kinds of American Bully. These include

  • Standard American Bullies
  • Classic American Bullies
  • Pocket American Bullies
  • XL American Bullies
  • XXL American Bullies
  • Extreme American Bullies
  • Micro American Bullies
  • Exotic American Bullies

As you can see, the “Classic” is only one of the many American Bully sub-types. For the sake of comparisons, we’ll refer primarily to the Standard American Bully vs the Classic American Bully. 

That’s not just because it’s convenient owing to their many similarities. The Standard and the Classic are the two most popular American Bully variants and the ones you’re likeliest to encounter. 

Classic American Bully Vs Standard American Bully: Similarities

Classics and Standards are very similar to one another, with the Classic American Bully being a relative newcomer compared to the Standard.

American Bullies Types

The differences are subtle, and we’ll look at this shortly – but they do still have a lot in common both in looks and in temperament.

American Bullies And People

There are no real differences in the potential for these dogs to have a great personality.

Provided that they’re adequately trained and socialized, both are capable of being outgoing, friendly, and trustworthy around children – although the tendency to charge into things makes them likely to play a little too roughly for very small children once the game is on. 

When it comes to their loyalty to their owners, both variants are extremely attached to their families.

It’s an endearing characteristic, but it does mean that they tend to become anxious when parted from their humans for more than a few hours.

These dogs need company and will be at their best when they’re able to spend time with their “nearest and dearest.”

Loyalty also implies protectiveness, another similarity that is beneficial but must be monitored lest things get out of hand.

It’s possible for dogs to become overprotective, incorrectly identifying anything out of the ordinary as a threat and responding with aggression. 

It’s just one more reason why American Bullies in general need ongoing socialization training from a young age.

After all, although we like to know our dogs are protective, nobody should want to be the owner of a vicious dog who responds inappropriately. 

American Bullies And Other Animals

As for relationships with other animals, American Bullies should be monitored carefully around any creatures that aren’t part of the immediate family.

American Bullies

While they can be very friendly when well trained, they also have high prey drive and will chase smaller animals that run away from them.

If you have an American Bully and want to introduce a new pet to your home, do so very carefully and with appropriate supervision. 

Physical Similarities

Both Classic Bullies and Standards are companion animals bred for a good temperament, and both feature a powerful build, broad heads and short, velvety coats that can come in a wide variety of colors.

Males of both variants reach 43 to 51cm (17 inches to 21 inches) at the shoulder, while females are 40 cm and 48 cm (16 inches to 19 inches) in height.

Classic American Bully Vs Standard American Bully: Differences

Types Of American Bullies

Frame And Weight

Classic bullies have a lighter build than standard bullies and their overall mass is therefore also lower.

So, although both types of Bully have similar heights, the frame and weight of the digs differ from one another. While Standard Bullies weigh in at 90-120 lbs, Classic Bullies range between 60 and 90 lbs. 

To reinforce this, we can also look at the respective proportions of these two very similar American Bully varieties.

The Classic has an upper arm that is shorter than the forearm while the Standard has upper arms that are longer than the forearms.

The Classic has a lower leg that is longer than the width of the chest while the Standard has a chest that is wider than the length of the forearm.

This is the biggest and most noticeable difference between the two variants, and the lighter build of the Classic indicates a greater American Pitbull influence in its lineage, while the heavier dogs have more Bulldog-like builds. 

Eyes, Nose, Ears And Snout

This is a very subtle difference and to see it, you may need to look at both types of dog to spot it. The Classic Bully has more close-set eyes and a shorter, broader head than the Standard Bully. 

Consistent with the Classic Bully’s broader snout, the nose itself is also wider with nostrils set further apart than those of the Standard Bully. 

As for the ears, the Classic has more upstanding ears than the Standard. 

Tail And Coat

Despite having lighter bodies than Standards, Classics tend to have slightly broader tails than Standards, and the Classic tends to have a tail that curves upwards while the Standard’s tail is straighter. 

The coats are very similar indeed, both being short and silky, but the Standard Bully has marginally longer hair – it’s a tiny difference, but a difference nonetheless!

Activity, Lifespan, And Health

Thanks to its lighter build, Classics are more energetic, active, and playful than standards who are somewhat prone to giving in to Bulldog-like laziness. 

The lighter frame also contributes to Classics having a slightly longer life-expectancy. Even when comparing completely different breeds, we know that bigger, heavy dogs tend to have shorter lives than smaller, lighter ones. 

Health-wise, these cousins are very similar, but the advantages of a lighter build mean that Classic Bullies are slightly less prone to arthritis and the effects of hip dysplasia. 

Like the physical differences, though, the difference in lifespan is a very small one – Classics can live up to two years longer than Standards on average.  

Do Classic American Bullies Make Good Pets?

Bully comparisons aside, you may be wondering whether a Classic American Bully will make a good pet. To a very large extent, that depends on whether you can be a good pet owner.

Daily play and exercise and plenty of human company will be very important for your dog, and if you fail to provide these, it will entertain itself. As you can probably imagine, you might not like the results! 

These dogs also need owners who are ready and able to provide leadership while at the same time being sensitive to their dogs’ needs.

Any dog can develop bad behaviors, and Bullies are no exception, but when the dog concerned is an American Bully, a lot of damage can be done – be it to people, property, or other animals. 

Keeping one requires vigilance to nip bad behaviors in the bud, plenty of energy, and an investment of time in training and exercise, especially while your American Bully is young, energetic, and learning how to get along with the rest of the world. 

If you’re willing to be a responsible pet owner, and have time to give your dog the attention it craves, you will find yourself with an American Bully to be proud of.

When well-brought up and cared for American Bullies are sweet tempered, patient, and ready to be obedient – the ideal companions, which is just what American Bullies were bred to be. 


Hi there, my name is Blake and I have an American Bully named Rocky. I fell in love with the breed around ten years ago after seeing some of my friends adopt a Bully. I love the combination of the muscular physique and calm, loyal companionship that the American Bully breed has to offer. My enthusiasm for the breed has led me to train as a dog behavioralist and trainer. Over the last ten years, I have supported many households in raising their American Bully and maximizing the potential of the breed. I’m delighted to share my knowledge and expertise on this site.

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